Archives for posts with tag: facebook places

Facebook is testing a new way to rate Places that is reminiscent of another successful Zuckerberg project, Facemash. Some users who have checked into Places, or who have been tagged in checkins, are seeing a new sidebar asking “Which place do you like better?” When a user chooses a place, the section pits two more places against each other, and so on.

(Facemash did this with photos of Harvard students and asked people to choose the more attractive of the two.  If you’ve seen The Social Network, you know how instantly popular it was.)

When Facebook launched Places in August 2010, it was clear that the product could one day have options to rate and review places a la Yelp. Since the site has such a massive user base, there is a great opportunity for Facebook to own the social recommendation space by making a product that becomes even more widely adopted. As it is now, lots of people who read Yelp reviews have never written one themselves, nor have their friends. A lot of companies are making social sites and apps to share information and recommendations, but none have been able to solve the problem of participation inequality. I believe Facebook is more likely than anyone to figure this out.

This latest test shows just how clearly Facebook understands human behavior. If they had asked me to rate Free State Brewing Company, I might have done it only because I like that place a whole lot and want people to know about it. If they asked for a review, I might not have because I like that place a whole lot and would want to take some time to write a great review. Instead, Facebook made the question so simple and compelling that I continued to vote until I didn’t have any more checkins to vote upon.

This may not be the ultimate way Facebook implements recommendations, but it at least shows that they get it.


As the year comes to a close and I reflect on the work I’ve done, I can’t help but think about how different Facebook was at the start of 2010.

Facebook’s own timeline isn’t very helpful, except to show that Facebook gained 200 million users since December 2009.  Even Flowtown, maker of many great infographics, failed to show just how much Facebook did this year. That’s why I put together this comprehensive, but probably still not complete, timeline of Facebook in 2010.

Some changes helped marketers, others seemed to be direct attacks against us. The introduction of the Open Graph Protocol and social plugins like the Like Button have, in only a few months, begun to reshape the face of the web. With Places and Deals, we have major new features to incorporate in our campaigns. We have more analytics about the Pages we manage and the apps we implement. We can share larger photos and Like our fans’ comments. And Facebook ad targeting is becoming increasingly more effective.

There were many other additions, tweaks and redesigns that have changed the way we all consume and interact with Facebook. It’s mind-blowing to think of what next year could hold.

But I’m excited to find out.

Facebook Timeline 2010






  • Added ability to create Events from the homepage
  • Launched, a simplified mobile version of the site that can be accessed free to international users with certain carriers
  • Changed the privacy settings dashboard in wake of controversy from the Open Graph and Instant Personalization announcements (Facebook claims to have simplified the process for controlling privacy, but the interface still needs work)







  • Announced Single Sign-On, which is like Facebook Connect for mobile apps
  • Introduced Deals, an addition that lets businesses offer coupons or other deals to people checking in with Facebook Places
  • Announced new Messages product, which combines text, chat and email to make communication more seamless. This feature has not been released to all users.


I don’t want strangers knowing my location.

  • Why do you have strangers as friends on Facebook?

I don’t even want all of my Facebook friends to know my location.

  • Make lists to designate who can see your check-ins. Or who can’t see them. Go here, click ‘Create a List’ at the top.

I don’t want people to know where I am every moment of the day.

  • No one has to use Facebook Places. Check in only when you want people to know where you are. Or never.

I don’t want people tagging me in their check-ins.

  • Ok, this I understand, but it’s an easy fix. Go here, disable ‘Friends can check me in to places.

  • But remember, this is something your friends could do before Facebook Places existed, and can still do in regular status updates.

What if you say you’re going to be somewhere but then your friend checks you in at another location and gets you in trouble?

  • When News Feed began, there was a similar argument. “The date and time of my Facebook changes are going to be public? Crazy! What if I’m ditching class and someone sees I’m actually Facebooking? Ahh!” Guess what? It wasn’t an issue. Sure, there are a few cases here and there of people getting caught for something because of Facebook, but you probably shouldn’t be expecting your friends or the Internet to help you lie, anyway.

If I check in somewhere, people will know I’m not at home, and they will rob me.

  • Yeah, maybe. But if someone walked by your house and saw you weren’t home, they could rob you too. In the meantime, wouldn’t hurt to delete any potential robbers from your friends list…

I don’t want people to tag my house.

  • Again, I see the potential problem, I just think the issue is overblown. Before you add a place, Facebook reminds you to ask permission before sharing someone else’s personal information.

  • This won’t prevent malicious additions, but you have the option to flag a location as abusive. It could take awhile for action to be taken, but then again, so would trying to shut down a blog post or webpage where someone listed your name and address. For all you know, people have been checking in to your house on Foursquare for months now…